A Baby Free Stay at Andaz San Diego

When I arrived at Andaz San Diego, I knew I was in for a sophisticated stay. I’d just had my first introduction to the concept hotel by Hyatt in West Hollywood, and knew San Diego would offer me an extension of what I’d seen. It was my very first time away from Mabel for more than a day, and I was ready for a break from “Mommyhood.” How did I do? Read on to find out.

I’m a person who loves the open road. Since having a baby, a lot of planning goes into my “impulsive” days out. I love going places with Mabel, but there’s a mental checklist all parents know. Do I have the diaper bag? Check. But is it filled with diapers? Did I heat enough water for bottles? Is her beloved “Wubby” pacifier with her? Sure enough, all of these thoughts went through my mind as I pulled away to head to Andaz San Diego. Even as Mike and Mabel were waving goodbye to me from our garage. Mommy brain at its finest.

Driving Pacific Coast Highway

I took advantage of being solo like in the old days and made detours along the way. I got off at Huntington Beach and cruised down the Pacific Coast Highway. Although I’ve spent a lot of time in Orange County, it’s easy to forget just how picturesque the ocean stretch is. I was in a state of “awe” as I drove by Laguna’s Crystal Cove. Call me crazy, but it brought Maui to mind. Bonus points that it’s under two hours from me to get to.

Although I didn’t make many pit stops, there’s plenty to be had. I remembered how much I love Sherman Gardens as I drove down the tree-lined streets of Corona Del Mar. Newport Beach’s Fashion Island and Roger’s Gardens are a “must” for any first-timer, and Dana Point has a great harbor for a lunch.

After some more cruising, ooh-ing, and ahh-ing, I was ready to arrive at Andaz San Diego.

Giraffe sculptures in the lobby. (c) Mary Farah

Andaz San Diego Welcomes You

Staying in any downtown city always offers a bustling, urban experience. I’m more accustomed to lodging outside of a city, so this was a unique getaway. Andaz is located on F Street in the heart of San Diego’s downtown. As I drove through the city’s East Village, both Andaz and the Gaslamp Quarter approached. This is where you’ll find the Convention Center (hello, Comic-Con) and a slew of restaurants and bars.

As I pulled up I immediately loved their sky-rise corner building. I soaked in the “hustle and bustle” vibes to the street and the staff made me feel welcomed right away. The lobby, in true Andaz form, is sleek and sophisticated. Once again, they’ve cleverly mastered the merging of modern with vintage.

A life-size giraffe and baby sculptures greet you on your left as you enter. To the right just above the concierge desk is a striking painting of a lion in a business suit. It was a breeze to check-in and the best part? They waste no time offering you a drink. It’s not every day there’s beer on tap at the front desk but of course, Andaz has that. They also have wine, coffee, and tea. After a nearly full day of driving and sightseeing, a hot cup of tea sounded perfect.

True to Andaz, the lobby is very contemporary. (c) Mary Farah
Doesn’t this painting remind you of the Wold of Wall Street? (c) Mary Farah

Getting Comfy

I made my way to the sixth floor and made myself at home right away. My King Bed Deluxe room was an ideal suite to rest and recharge. While it’s a great space for two, I was struck at how ideal it was for a solo traveler. The sleeper couch in front of my bed was excellent for getting work done on my phone, planning my day, and watching some TV. There was a refrigerator and Keurig, just what I needed for leftovers and refueling. I also appreciated the prompt housekeeping service. When I discovered I was all out of green tea K-cups, the front desk quickly had more sent up to my door. Given I was downtown, my suite looked out onto the city life. I felt like I was back in Manhattan.

On my second day, I enjoyed a nearly full day of exploring and hiking in Torrey Pines State Park. Although there was no bathtub, I loved returning home to my beautiful central glass shower. It featured inviting tiled walls and a rain ceiling. When I’m with Mabel, or most days actually, I rarely wear makeup. Given the ample countertop space and that I was “off duty,” it was inviting to make a bit of an effort. There was plenty of room for my trinkets, mascaras, and concealers

Since Andaz is in the center of busy San Diego, I’ll admit, I was nervous. As soon as I sat on the bed, I noticed earbuds on the nightstand. I’d given up baby life for a little escape, would I hear too much of the outside world? The answer was, no. Despite it may be difficult to stay here with Mabel, it’s a terrific hotel for a kids-free escape. The bed was heavenly soft, and although I heard some fun coming from a nightclub, I had no trouble sleeping during my visit.

Cozy suite. (c) Mary Farah
Ample bathroom and glass shower

Dining in Style

No visit to San Diego is complete until you experience the Rooftop by STK at Andaz. The views of the city are breathtaking, much like the ones at Andaz West Hollywood. It’s no surprise that they have the largest rooftop in the Gaslamp Quarter. As tempting as it was to sleep in, I enjoyed a gorgeous morning before I checked out. Since it was a weekday I had the rooftop almost all to myself. They’re open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Brunch is hosted Friday through Saturday until two PM and on Sundays until four PM.

The bar is lavish, and a great place to start the evening before getting dinner. Along with the Rooftop, there’s STK Steakhouse on the first floor. They have dinner, weekend brunch, and a weekday happy hour. I loved that it was nestled on the corner. A great “city watching” zone.

Where to Park

Confession: I don’t like valet-only anywhere. I love having easy access to my car, especially when I’m traveling. It’s one of the reasons I usually prefer hotels a bit out of the city.

At Andaz, visitors have two options. Valet parking ($52 a day plus tips) or finding a parking structure a block or more away. I, at first, was my stubborn self. I said I’ll self-park. After two wrong turns and finding a pricey lot that I wasn’t sure allowed overnights, I came to my senses. The ACE valet parking staff was excellent during the entire stay. It’s requested to ring for your car at least 30 minutes in advance and they always delivered it on time. I also felt extremely safe within the hotel the entire time.

Dine on top of the world at the Rooftop. (c) Mary Farah
Rooftop pool. (c) Mary Farah

Book your Stay

Clearly, Andaz San Diego is a “PG-13” kind of stay. It’s an excellent place to travel sans the kids. Think solo adventure, date weekend, or starting a night on the town. It’s centrally located under 10 miles from Balboa Park, one of my favorite places. If I were to ever be in town for a convention, I love that you can walk so quickly to the convention center.

Learn more and book your stay HERE. xo

(*Disclosure: I was a guest of Andaz San Diego on behalf of story purposes. All opinions are my own.)

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